You need German level B2 to find a good job in Germany

What level to find a job in Germany?

The Higher the Better

The first level to be taken seriously is the B2 level. Your aim should be C1 and from there you should just pick up still unknown words and structures on your own and be able to look them up yourself. C2 is mostly needed for higher educational work and is almost native level.

Can you find a job without knowing German?

Yes and no. It will limit your options, but it’s possible. I wrote another article all about how to work in Germany as a foreigner, which includes options for non German speakers.

But back to the topic at hand… for those who want to learn German and get a job here, B1 is recommended as the bare minimum.

Why B1 Then

The first exam I offer is the B1 as the other two can be reached after a week or two and don‘t prove much. With B1 you can actually have a long conversation about a admittedly yet limited scale of topics but people won‘t switch to English that often anymore which will boost the further learning process significantly. Passing this landmark is very important for you motivation and level of commitment. The feeling after you have passed this first crucial level is invaluable. It comes after a perfect amount of days, where you are still fresh and yet already confident. B2 would be too far away yet and B1 will give you more than enough boost to continue until the first real challenge: The B2 exam.

You need German level B2 to find a good job in Germany
das Zahnrad – the cog wheel / Image via Pixabay

Become a Citizen 

The German government thinks B1 to be enough to get along well enough with the Germans in case you are looking for citizenship status. They say understanding 2,700 words is enough. You can find a complete list of them here. But please don’t learn any list as it would be a waste of time. But going through it in a calm half hour just to see how many of the words you already understand might be interesting.

Download the official list of required vocab for German level B1 here.

The Challenge is B2

B2 is the first level that means that you can speak really fluent and understand 80% of the situations that you find yourself in repeatedly.

You can prepare yourself for the exam and even see a sample of the language level here. Scroll down to „Prüfungsteil Sprechen (Mündliche Prüfung) direkt ansehen“ for the video.

Click here to see a B2 exam sample!

How long Until…

In an intensive class you would need about 720 lessons to get to B2. That are nine months of 3 hours daily (not including homework). Costs vary from 1,800 to 9,000 for classes. Private lessons might require a bit more funding. Just for the very eager among you: C1 means another 240 lessons or three months or 600-3,000€.

26 Replies to “What level to find a job in Germany?”

    1. I would like to pursue a master program in Germany. I have started learning German 3 months ago, and I am still a beginner. How can I be accepted in one of Germany’s universities with my C1 English level and only A2 German level by the time of application?

      Kindly to help me with this.

  1. Hai i want to get a job in Germany., in Automobile Design industry thought iam having 4 yrs of Design Experience.. so what i should to do after completing B1 level of german, how do i approach for job in Germany..?

    1. Dear D. Guru Prakash,
      Thanks for thinking of me. Please understand that you require extensive consulting on your issue which I can’t offer via the comment function nor do I offer such services in person as they are not my field of expertise. I recommend a colleague of mine, Christian Reuter, who is an expert coach on job finding (not on the automobile branch). You can contact him via linkedin. I wish you success. Best regards, Michael

  2. Hi Denkmuskel,

    Good piece of information. Thank you.
    My brother is studying in Hamburg University after attaining a B1 level. He is doing well.


  3. Hi … I am 40 yrs old and I have done chemistry from India with 60% marks. Currently I am doing B2 level from Goethe Institute in India. I have four year of experience in teaching. I want to get a job in Germany . What should I do for that? And what kind of job can I get there?

    1. Dear Sushma,
      thank you for your interest in my work. Please understand that I can’t give free advice as I simply don’t have enough time.
      I have created my blog for this purpose and also answer questions on my profile on quora. Please take a good look around
      those pages and you will find many answers to your questions.

      Do you already know my German grammar materials? You can preview every product in my shop and might find them very helpful.
      I also recommend that you work with a private tutor. You can find very affordable ones here.

      Of course you are always free to inquire about my private tutoring services. Make yourself familiar with my conditions and prices

      I wish you success with your German learning and other plans.

      Feel free to share you experience with me and
      whether my advice has been helpful or not.

      Herzlichen Gruß aus Berlin

      Do you like my work? A review on Google (right sidebar) and/or Facebook would help me a lot.

      Skype-ID: smarter-german
      T: +49 151 67 31 88 94

  4. Im a automation test engineer with two years of experience.i desperately need a job in germany. Im going to german classes.What level is needed to find a job in Germany? If you have any idea kindly please help me out.

    1. Dear Shilpa, then this isn’t the right place to look for it. Initiative, clarity and autonomy is a trait that I would look for in an employee and I guess also many other companies esp. if you are in business management. Writing a one-line-comment under a language-blog gives the opposite message.

  5. sir I have done bachelor degree from pune university with English literature. I am learning German in max Mueller bhavan pune.but actually I have done till B1 in pune university I want job in pune through German language how many level should I complete for job.Is there scope for German language in pune

    1. Hi Shrutika,
      a top-notch B2 level would be the only level that makes sense. Anything else might get you into a job but you’d soon be uncovered as a fraud if German is really needed for the job. You might also simply ask those companies about their specific language requirements.

    1. Hi Joshy,
      I wouldn’t know and would have to google that. Therefore I can only tell you to google this. Check the universities individually as they might have different requirements. Or are you already a trained engineer? In that case: If you want to work on the same level as your German competition, you need a very good (!) C1 level.

  6. I have completed by BE in electronics with EMBA in Project management. I am working with German company ( in Pune /India) in R&d department for more than 10 years . Total experience is around 20 years. Till now i never thought of learning German language. Now i am saturated for my current job profile and feel to learn German language and do carrer in this. Please guide me for this. I am 42 now.

    1. Dear Dhanashree,
      if I don’t know what your goal is I can’t even point you in any direction.
      What is it exactly that you want to do and what do you think would knowing German allow you to do?
      Are you on top of your field so that you can compete with native German speakers in a native German environment or
      do you just want to work in an Indian company or German company in India which requires people that speak German?
      The more you define your goal, the clearer you’ll see the path.

    1. I would not know the answer to this question Sahil. Maybe check out Bharath in Germany who is an expert in such things.

  7. When I come to Germany I must be treated well or if not I go to Norway becauze I am better to tell the truth in anything I do. I don’t accept German way of living too strikt I better go to Norway I find best salarys ther I need no more to say. Here I have hous , car ,wife ,childrens. I have everything three times more than in Germany. People there in Germany are slaves. Norway rulez!! I need say no more anything.

  8. I am a graduate and having 5yrears of experience in Finance field. Have done a course on analytics as well. Could you please suggest till which level I need to learn german language if I want to apply for jobs in Germany or in other European countries?

  9. Hi sir,
    Im Working as Medical laboratory Technologist with 6 years of experience.What level of german language is required to work in medical field and what other requirements r important to get a job in germany,please kindly helpme with information.

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